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Last week of hols except for Queensland and Tassie!

25 January 2018

Enjoy those last sleep ins. Queensland is leading the way and already back at school. Tassie goes back a week later...

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23 January 2018

Carclew have teamed up with Insite Arts to present several great events for families at a new pop-up fringe precinct, at Victoria Square, for the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Lots of food, music and fun, too.

From Feb 16 - Feb 25.

Called Grounded. Details here

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Get to Brisbane Powerhouse in February!

20 January 2018

Brisbane Powerhouse starts the year off with a bang with four very different events. Check them out here.

Image: Backbone, Gravity & other Myths

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Milkshake Duck- our new word of the year.

18 January 2018

Coined as a joke, on Twitter, in 2016, by Australian cartoonist Ben Ward, to describe an unknown person who rises quickly to fame through the internet then falls because of something unsavoury in their past, Macquarie Dictionary has named milkshake duck the Australian word of the year.

It's also in the American Dialect Society's top new words for 2017, but their winner was fake news. Interestingly, this expression was Macquarie Dictionary's top for 2016. 

It makes sense there be new words coined to describe something to do with the internet and of course, there are words in every language that don't have equivalents in other languages. Is the idea limited by the language or is it that that culture has no use for this concept?

English is forever changing with meanings often changing over time and welcoming new words and expressions. 

Read more about the word of the year here

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Teachers, stay, we need you!

15 January 2018

Only a couple of weeks until school resumes. Theoretically teachers are on leave, but no doubt many are deep in planning for the year but many who taught last year aren't returning. Why?

Teachers who feel supported and appreciated are more likely to stay in the profession. The rate of teachers leaving is concerning and damning of schools and training.

An average of 40% of teachers, in their first five years of teaching, leave.

How concerning is this when numbers of students are increasing while the majority of teachers are older? ( eg in SA, about half the teachers in government schools are over 50). We are already seeing shortages of secondary teachers, particularly in WA. 

The problems are obvious, as are solutions -  better salary, higher status, higher entry scores for teaching, mentoring of young teachers, time for flexibility and innovation, less administrative load, more autonomony... but perhaps a rethink of the entire purpose of education is due.

Interesting that Pasi Sahlberg (pictured above), former Director General of Finnish Education, one of the most praised systems in the world, says politicians have placed too much emphasis on competition between schools and students. In Finland, students start school at age seven, because there is a great belief in the importance of play in students' development. In Australia, our children start school earlier and spend longer in the classroom than most OECD countries. 

Mr Sahlberg is joining the Gonski Institute this year. Great appointment. We look forward to his contribution.

Meanwhile a big thank you to all you returning teachers for the great job you do. Often mentions of teachers in the media are negative, in contrast, when a recently retired teacher, Bruce Fairfax, was lost in Tasmanian bush, the outpouring of grief and appreciation for his contribution from so many people, reminds us that teachers have a huge impact.

Read more on Pasi Sahlberg's comments in The Guardian

Read more on Teachers Leaving and Teachers staying in The Conversation

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Don't teachers ever take a break?

10 January 2018

Every day since schools broke up, teachers have made booking enquiries with us for shows in 2018.

What an amazing group of dedicated people. 

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Ferking Forthward for 2018

9 January 2018

It's sad when expressions lose currency, so to speak. This great verb, to ferk, is Old English. It means direction, action and purpose. How much better is ferking forthward rather than moving forward? You can even say ferking up/out/off as well as forthward to mean the same thing.

Also why don't we bring back the lovely word, trumpery meaning empty, insincere talk, weeds or rubbish of any sort. How perfect for today!!

Read some more old expressions here

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Commiserations to those back at work today

8 January 2018

Our office is slowly being repeopled...

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Happy New Year to All!

1 January 2018

Now for the resolutions...

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Teachers still booking shows...

28 December 2017

Teachers are amazing. They don't stop thinking about their classes. We've been amazed at the number of teachers booking shows this week! Good on you all. But do have a rest, too.

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Head to The Empire Theatres in Toowoomba

18 December 2017

As usual, The Empire Theatres are offering a great range of events for those for little kids to great works for senior secondary students. Check them all out here.

Image: Cockfight, The Farm, at The Empire Theatre

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First holiday sleep in for much of Australia today!

18 December 2017

Tas and Vic still have a few days to go..... 

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